Web 2.0 This Week (July 17 – 23)

It’s been a helluva week. Myspace got bought for over half a billion dollars. Podcasting died (but not really), and an important development in beer tapping technology was announced. Oh yeah, we spent the week at Always On and learned a lot about social networking in the real world. :-)

For a wrapup of AlwaysOn, see our profiles and links here. Marc Canter’s new thing, GoingOn, was announced at the conference and we will profile it separately sometime in the next couple of days.

1. iTunes sells its 500,000,000th song.

“TJPile writes “Apple’s iTunes Music Store can now say half a billion served. One look at Apple’s front page says it all. Sunday, at 2:44PM EST, Amy Greer of Lafayette, Indiana bought Faith Hill’s Mississippi Girl to win.””

2. MySpace sells to News Corp for $580 million

From Bill Burnham: “You may have seen the news today that Intermix Media was sold to News Corp. for a cool $580M in cash. Prior to 2004, Intermix’s business consisted of running a collection of largely undistinguished consumer-oriented websites. Intermix (then known as EUniverse) didn’t do a particularly good job of running these sites and was basically a broken stock suffering from earnings restatements, a NASDAQ delisting and executive turnover. However in 2003/2004, one of the websites, MySpace.com started to take-off thanks to the social networking craze.

As I outlined earlier, unlike Friendster and its clones, MySpace took a unique approach to the Social Networking space and concentrated heavily on building a community first (centered around music and bands), and a social network second. The strategy worked and by the beginning of 2005 MySpace was the clear #1 player in the social networking space.”

See Also: Jeff Clavier, Chew Shop, Many2Many, Paul Kedrosky, Blog Herald, Hitchhiker’s guide to 650, Marc Canter, Scoble

3. Podcasting died last week (not really though)

Frank Barnako writes a controversial essay last week titled “Podcasting’s ‘indies’ are losing ground” in which he states “Podcasters, your 15 minutes of fame is up”:

“As podcasts have become available to a mass market, the media giants are moving in. ABC, ESPN, the BBC, CNN and Air America account for 16 of the most popular shows. Public radio programs took another 16 slots. Only four of the top 20 were created by “amateurs.” Two were devoted to news about the Macintosh; a third was Chris Pirillo’s tech show, which ranked 16th; and 19th place went to a program of movie reviews.”.

Steve Gillmor writes back in an essay that is guaranteed to become a classic:

“Mainstream media spokesman Frank Barnako announced the death in New York, center of the professional broadcast and financial industries. Barnako, who has owned stock in AOL/Time Warner since 1935, spoke with Winer, Curry, and other leaders of the insurrection at undisclosed locations using approved dominant POTS technology.

In related developments, Microsoft Corporation cancelled its rollout of RSS technology in Longhorn, citing Mark Cuban’s assessment that “indies will survive only as a labor of love.” Fired evangelist Robert Scoble, under attack from CNET’s David Berlind and former CNET reporter and analyst/infomercial producer Joe Wilcox, refused to comment pending a review of his current fact-checking procedures, which entail IMing with each of his 7,000 RSS feed publishers for their sign-off on his presumtively erroneous and intensely damaging “facts.”

Meanwhile, CNET blogger Steve Gilmor called the death “a seriously lucky thing” given his reluctance to release the last edition of his Gillmore Gang podcast. Gillmour called the final show a “poorly-recorded obscenity-filled miserable ramble” that showed how prescient Ziff Davis columnists John Dvorak and David Coursey have always been in protecting readers and listeners from the dangers of unauthorized and ambiguous sources of dangerous information. “I always knew John and David were right, but I didn’t know why until now,” Gilmorr said. “Normally I would have waited for Lee Gomes to pronounce the body, but Barnako is the Man. Thanks, Frank.”

iTunes’ podcasting support will be phased out in the next version, replaced by pay versions of Harry Shearer’s Le Show and NBC’s Meet the Press. NPR officials will return to complaining about loss of federal subsidies, and Jason Calaconis will join the Bush Cabinet as Secretary of Page Views. Karl Rove will continue as Assistant Prevaricator to the President.”

See also John Furrier and Shel Holtz on this. Very, very funny stuff.

4. David Weinberger ponders tagging.

Referencing Tom Coates, David writes: “Tom Coates does some analysis to illustrate what he suggests is a cultural difference in how people use tags. Some use tags as folders to house objects, others use them as descriptions of objects. (And, it seems to me, many of us do both.) His example: If you tag an URL as “blogs,” you are collecting blogs into a virtual folder. If you tag an URL “blog,” you are describing it as an example of a blog. In the first case, you’re probably putting blogs aside so you can read them. In the second, you may be researching the blog phenomenon. Tom’s research leads him to conjecture that “the folder metaphor is losing ground and the keyword one is currently assuming dominance.””

See also “Tag entropy: hiding in plain sight

5. When will Blogging Peak?

Jeremy Zawodny writes “When will Blogging Peak?” and says:

“While I don’t claim to know or predict the future, I do feel like this whole blogging thing is gonna peak sooner or later. After that it may die off or continue along just fine. But either way I suspect blogging as a “hot thing” can only last so long.”

Dave Winer writes back

“First, I don’t think blogging will peak, any more than the telephone will peak. It’s a fundamental way of communicating, if it goes away it will be replaced by something exactly like it.

Second, what is a blog? I know this is a long tiresome question, but it matters. The distinction between blog sites that have ads and those that don’t is probably a bigger distinction than between magazines that have ads and blogs that have ads. A blog without ads is itself an ad, interesting to a small number of people. Blogs with ads, like their print counterparts, strive to be as broad as possible, to reach as many people, and in doing so, lose their value as an ad for the author.”

See also: Lexblog, paradox1x, Somewhat Frank

6. Wikimania

SJ’s Longest Now names every wiki platform he can find.

7. Jeff Jarvis writes about the differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0

“Web 1.0 is built primarily on the former, the resources and articles and pages and mostly static things: It’s about stuff that sits and is found at an address. It’s about search. It’s about URLs and permalinks. It’s about Google and Yahoo before that. All that is valuable, always will be.

But Web 2.0 adds on the wonders of the latter: feeds (RSS, Atom, FeedBurner, et al); lists (OPML, etc.); conversations (blog posts, Technorati links, PubSub feeds, comments); swarming points (tags on Flickr, Del.icio.us, Technorati, Dinnerbuzz); heat sensors (Blogpulse et al); aggregations (e.g., Command-Post.org); communities (Craig’s List, et al); alerts (Craig’s List feeds); decentralized distribution (bittorrent, etc.); and on and on.”

See Susan Crawford’s thoughts on this post as well.

8. Seven Words you can’t say in Kindergarten.

Nathan Torkington creates a contentious movie about seven words you can’t say in Kindergarten. After you watch it you’ll understand why everyone is talking about it.

9. RSS v. Atom for Dummies

Fred at WeBreakStuff.com writes a great comparison essay on RSS and Atom.

10. Want to start a blog and don’t know which service to use?

Susannah Gardner took the time to review all major blogging platforms, wrote an excellent article on the subject and created a comparision chart. This is excellent research and a very useful tool.

(via Blog Business World)

see also: Yafle, The Language Artist, Qumana Blog

11. Om v. Marc – Did Netscape suck or not? (and oh yeah, 24 hour laundry is coming)

Om Malik wrote a post called “Meeting Marc Andreessen” and discussed 24 hour laundry, saying absolutely nothing (I hate this – either be stealthy and therefore be quiet or tell us what the heck you are building). He also made a few comments about Netscape, saying:

“When noting the “failure�? of Netscape, you might also note these facts:
* $600 million in revenue when sold in 1998
* Profitable and cash-generating when sold in 1998
* $350 million in cash and no debt when sold in 1998
* Sold in 1998 for $10 billion
* Every private or public shareholder who ever bought a share of NSCP made money if they held through the acquisition and then sold — every one”

Marc Canter, never a person without an opinion, wrote his thoughts on the subject of Netscape and Marc Andreesen:

“The worst abomination ever – single handedly telling us all to fuck off, proving how many diletantes there were there and full of shit they really were. Add to that a) the arrogance, b) the complete ignorance of anything human (at that time called Consumer Internet) and then c) playing this Microsoft’s the bad guy scapegoat game – well believe you me – I’m not the only one who sees Netscape at what it really was.

So please – do your revisionist thinking piece – pump up 24 Hour Party People Laundry and hope that Marc’s string of bad luck doesn’t continue.

Cause he sure as hell hasn’t done shit since – what 1995?”

I was one of Netscape’s corporate attorneys in the late nineties, and worked on many of their large acquisitions, as well as their eventual sale to AOL. While everything Om says is true, Netscape was a huge failure, in the sense of not meeting expectations. It would feel very, very similar if suddenly someone came out with a Google killer and over the course of two years Google use steadily dropped to a fraction of its current use. It seems unthinkable, but that is exactly what happened to Netscape.

I’m looking forward to 24 hour laundry, whatever it ends up being.

12. Interview with a search engine

SatireWire posts a very funny interview with Jeeves, of Ask Jeeves. (Via Jeremy Zawodny)

13. Drink More Beer, Faster

I had a very good friend in high school named Brent who’s favorite line at a party was, “the one thing you need to do right now is stop talking and drink more beer, faster.” It always made me laugh, and this post reminded me of those days.

“…the TurboTap is such an important invention – pours beer four times faster than existing beer taps at the same time as increasing keg yield by up to 30% and reducing training time to roughly 60 seconds.”

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